Christopher Pratt, whose internationally acclaimed artwork projected a strange and enchanting atmosphere over the landscape of Newfoundland and Labrador, has died. He was 86 years old when he died.
In a statement, his family stated he died early Sunday morning. “He died as he intended, surrounded by family and friends in his 59-year-old home on the Salmonier River,” according to the family statement.
He is survived by his four children as well as other relatives. Mary Pratt, a well-known painter who was described as his “best friend and occasional wife” in a family statement, died in 2018.
“To so many people, it’s a huge loss. A renowned artist has passed away in Canada “Emma Butler, Pratt’s friend and owner of the Emma Butler Gallery in St. John’s, agreed.
Over the course of his long and successful career, Pratt was dubbed one of Canada’s best painters, earning him appointments to both the Order of Canada and the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador. His work can be found in museums across the country, including the National Gallery of Canada.
The glance out to sea, snow piled on an inverted dory, and bleak expanses of the Trans-Canada Highway are among the subjects of his decades of paintings and prints.
Pratt’s often eerily illuminated views transport viewers to territory that hovers halfway between the lifelike and the strange, in his typical careful approach.
Tom Smart, director of the Beaverbrook Gallery in Fredericton and author of Christopher Pratt: Six Decades, observed, “There’s enchantment in his works.”
“There’s a reason he’s known as a magic realist. It’s almost as though his paintings are looking back at you when you look at them.” Pratt’s work was characterized by a disturbing look.
Smart remarked, “His paintings have a lot of depth.” “You can admire the painting; he’s depicting a familiar building or landscape, but then you look at it and think, ‘Wait a minute – there’s something going on here.'”
Pratt made no apologies about editing the world’s clutter out of his work. To create complicated, other interpretations of reality, he’d erase stains and straighten lines.